Equal Time

Sometimes it's tough having loyalties to multiple schools. I have two alma maters and work for a third, but there is a definite pecking order in play. UMBC, my undergraduate alma mater, where I spent four years and was involved in athletics through the pep band always comes first. Then it's USF, who also granted me a degree and where I fell in love with college football. Last, but certainly not least, it's UNCG, where I currently work and hold season tickets for men's basketball.

I'm fortunate in that it's fairly rare that any two of my teams play one another. Rather, this hierarchy comes into focus when an opportunity arises for one of my teams. For example, USF's photo store recently sent out a coupon for money off of an order. It was a compelling offer--get a USF print to have framed, perhaps for the man cave I hope one day to have. I checked out the offerings and have a pretty good idea of the print I'll get getting. My next step? Check out the photo store at UMBC. Because if I'm picking up USF merch, I need to give equal time to UMBC. This unfortunately makes my discount worth a little less, as I'm ultimately spending more money, but hey, I gotta represent.

A similar situation: I was approached by UNCG's Spartan Club, who I work closely with in my job, about becoming a member. Like most booster clubs, they have different financial levels at which they join. I've got much love for the Spartans, but I respectfully declined. Why? The way I see it, joining Spartan Club with an $X donation would also compel me to join both the Bulls Club and Retriever Club at equal or higher levels. What started as a $X proposition is now a $3X proposition. I briefly considered if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with, and admittedly, the season tickets reflect that. But when it comes to support, which I could do from near or far, it was all or none.

Here's a tangent, but not too far of one: I made a suggestion to myself--not nearly as binding as a resolution, commitment, or promise--that I'd like to make it to at least one game of both of my alma maters each year. I've actually been pretty good at making at least something the past couple years, be it football, basketball, soccer, or lacrosse. But many of those have been games of convenience, right here in North Carolina. I'd love to up my commitment and do a bit of traveling. USF gets a bit of an advantage in this department in that football is my favorite sport, which of course UMBC doesn't have. On the flip side, however, I'm in the Baltimore area far more than I'm down in Tampa. I may catch a UMBC lacrosse game this season--I haven't been to a home game since I graduated. And as for USF? I just might make the road trip to the Swamp to catch USF at Florida. Stay tuned.